Seven-Up! (1964)

This did not start as a folded adventure. It is a quite ordinary TV documentary. But it became so in later installments by Apted, where the interviews are largely about how the films affected their lives.

Monitor: The Prince of Denmark (1963)

Astonishingly Internal This is a BBC interview show that has Orson Welles, Peter O’Toole and some other older fellow (Ernest Milton) talking about ‘Hamlet’. Orson was well into retirement from attempting film masterpieces, including two ambitious Shakespeare productions. His ‘Othello’ is really something. He’d been in two stage Hamlets at this point which he disparages.… Continue reading Monitor: The Prince of Denmark (1963)

Alice in Acidland (1969)

Showing the Unshowable At the root, the filmmakers dilemma has two fangs. One challenge is to take things that people know and bend and filter them in ways that can be seen as “natural” when it gets to the other side, past the set, the film, the beam, the retina, the neurons. In other words,… Continue reading Alice in Acidland (1969)

Murder She Said (1961)

Tumbling Down My history of introspection in film starts with clever mystery writers. Then when talkies fell on us there was a huge experimental breeding ground for techniques that worked. By the 40s that chapter was all over and noir was incubated. Agatha Christie played a central role in this history with her wild experiments,… Continue reading Murder She Said (1961)

Poirot: Dumb Witness (1966)

Script Mysteries Egad. Watching these Suchet versions of Poirot is a real adventure. Following the tradition set by the BBC, each episode has a different adapter and director. The idea is that it is supposed to keep things fresh. After all, the selling points are the characters and the good will of the Christie name.… Continue reading Poirot: Dumb Witness (1966)

Duel at Diablo (1966)

Old Paint It is absolutely amazing to me how badly a movie can age. I saw this one in the theatres when new. I remember thinking it was acceptable at the time. There was an actress that I knew from Bergman. There was the surprise of the Indian baby, which I saw in the segregated… Continue reading Duel at Diablo (1966)

Girl With a Suitcase (1961)

Million Dollar Baby I watched this together with Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby.” I knew I would be challenged by that film (you can read my comment), and I wanted something that I knew would be a safe island after the offences therein. I chose this. Its between “Million” and “Nights of Cabiria” and more perfect… Continue reading Girl With a Suitcase (1961)

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

Joe Meets Akira This is an ineptly made film, but which lives because of its sheer importance. It is the reconstruction of the western, the birth of the hardboiled, loveable thug and the reinvention of Kurosawa for the masses. Kurosawa had already been appropriated by the Hollywood western with “The Magnificent Seven,” but that project… Continue reading A Fistful of Dollars (1964)